Tom Williams, the Harlequins back, has lodged an appeal against the sanction imposed on him by an independent Disciplinary Committee, which found the Club (Harlequins) and the player guilty of Misconduct under the Heineken Cup 2008/09 Disciplinary Rules.
The ERC Disciplinary Officer (Roger O'Connor) has separately appealed the level of sanction imposed on the Club (Harlequins) and the decision of the Committee to dismiss Misconduct Complaints against Club officials Dean Richards (Director of Rugby), Dr Wendy Chapman (Doctor) and Steph Brennan (Physiotherapist).
The independent Disciplinary Committee, which convened over three days (2, 3 and 20 July), found that the Club (Harlequins) and Mr Tom Williams were guilty of Misconduct by fabricating a wound or blood injury in order to allow Nick Evans (No 10), who had earlier been substituted, to return to the field of play during the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Leinster at the Twickenham Stoop on 12 April, 2009.
The Committee imposed a fine of 250,000 euro on Harlequins, of which 50 percent is suspended for two years, and the Committee suspended Mr Williams from playing rugby for a period of 12 months up to and including 19 July, 2010. The Committee found that the Misconduct complaints against the three club officials had not been proven.
Mr Williams' appeal is against the sanction only and not the decision of the Committee while Harlequins have not lodged an appeal against either the decision or the sanction imposed on them by the Committee.
Details of the independent Appeal Committee and the date for the independent Appeal Hearing will be announced early next week.
Independent Appeal Committee
a) Following a decision of an independent Disciplinary Committee all parties (the Club, player(s) and or individuals and ERC) have the right to appeal the decision of the Committee.
b) The independent Appeal Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
c) None of the members of the independent Disciplinary Committee who issued the decision being challenged in the appeal may sit on the independent Appeal Committee.
d) The full written decision of the independent Appeal Committee will be available on www.ercrugby.com/disciplinenews when the disciplinary process is complete.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.